NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Reds Use Long Ball, Passed Ball to Overcome Williams’ 41st Homer
The Cincinnati Reds hit three solo home runs and used a passed ball in the ninth inning for the go-ahead run to defeat the San Francisco Giants, 4-3, at San Francisco for their fourth consecutive victory.
Pinch-runner Jacob Brumfield, in for Brian Hunter, who had walked, came home when reliever Steve Frey’s pitch bounced off the glove of Giant catcher Kirt Manwaring.
Dave Burba (2-6) started the ninth for the Giants and retired one batter before walking Hunter. After Brumfield stole second, Tony Fernandez walked and Bret Boone, who homered earlier, grounded out to advance the runners.
Frey relieved and walked pinch-hitter Brian Dorsett, as Brumfield came home on ball four.
“It was a sinker--just like any other of my sinkers,” Frey said. “It wasn’t a strike. Normally, it would have been a walk and I would have moved on to the next guy.”
Johnny Ruffin (7-2) got the victory with two innings of scoreless relief. Jeff Brantley pitched the ninth for his 13th save.
Matt Williams hit his major league-leading 41st home run for the Giants in the fifth to cut San Francisco’s deficit to 2-1.
Hunter, Boone and Hal Morris all hit solo home runs and right-hander Erik Hanson just about shut down the Giants’ powerful middle hitters before he sprained his left knee with the score tied, 3-3, in the sixth.
Atlanta 4, New York 2--Greg Maddux pitched an eight-hitter at New York for his major league-leading ninth complete game.
Maddux (14-6) struck out eight and walked one as the Braves won for the fourth time in five games.
Fred McGriff hit his 28th homer against loser Jason Jacome (4-2) in the second.
Jacome, in his sixth major league start, accounted for New York’s first run with an infield single in the second inning. He gave up two runs on five hits while striking out three and walking one in seven innings.
Montreal 3, St. Louis 2--Marquis Grissom hit an inside-the-park homer against Rich Rodriguez in the 10th inning at Montreal.
Grissom led off the inning with his 10th homer, a shot off the glove of center fielder Gerald Young in deep center field.
Young tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch, but the ball glanced off his glove and caromed along the wall toward left field as Grissom, who never hesitated, raced around the bases and beat shortstop Ozzie Smith’s relay to the plate.
The NL East-leading Expos have won 12 of 13 games, while St. Louis lost for the eighth time in nine outings.
Colorado 8, Houston 3--Lance Painter pitched four-hit ball over five innings and Mike Kingery had four hits at Houston as the Rockies continued their mastery of the Astros.
The Rockies are 17-4 against the Astros over the last two seasons, 5-2 this year.
The loss was Houston’s fourth in a row and dropped the Astros 3 1/2 games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central Division. The Astros led the division by a half-game five days ago.
Jeff Bagwell hit his 37th homer for the Astros, a two-run shot in the fourth that tied Jimmy Wynn’s club record.
Chicago 8, Florida 5--Chuck Crim was a winner at Chicago in his first start in seven years, helping the Cubs extend the Marlins’ losing streak to seven games.
Rick Wilkins and Rey Sanchez each drove in two runs in a five-run first inning as the Cubs won for the 10th time in 14 games.
Crim (5-4), a last-minute replacement for the injured Mike Morgan, gave up six hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
It was Crim’s sixth major league start and first since 1987, when he pitched for Milwaukee. His only other victory as a starter was June 2, 1987, over Kansas City, in his first major league start.
Crim’s longest relief outing this season was three innings. His longest start was 6 1/3 innings on June 16, 1987, against Minnesota.